When speaking out about abuse within the community of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church, I had intuitively knew it wasn't going to be welcome. But over the past 13 years, it does continually surprise me, how quick they reach the state of unbelief, or how fast they are to minimize the volume of abuse in their presence. They want me to be the odd man out, the special exception; and certainly not the norm.
Their need to isolate and condemn my family as being rare and abnormal among their whole healthy families is quite remarkable, when you look at how similarly we were raised and schooled in faith.
I fit in, until I exposed the rotted underbelly of a strict religion.
I also get being blind to abuse.
It is hard for me to recollect my blindness, not seeing evil, and believing in the concept of the church and automatically giving credence that was unearned, due to being a member.
I had heard yesterday, that religions are identities.
Most identify themselves by their faiths.
I am a christian, I am a muslim, I am a catholic etc.
So, when I am telling them, that there is abuse among the members, it is as if I am accusing them. Personally.
Having religion be your main identifier now seems odd to me.
However, coming from the First Apostolic Lutheran Church, there was no Me. I was comprised of what is right and what is wrong in the church. I was me as the church.
I was better when I followed its teachings and Less when I didn't.
I didn't own my hair, my reproductive organs, or my finger nails.
I was directed in how I would navigate the world.
So, when you take a person who is moved by the church, and I then attack what moves them, they will most certainly feel it personally.
There is very little of their worlds that is not directed by the church.
Their whole being has been molded by the church.
I again, know this by what was left to me, when I no longer believed in the religion I was constructed by.
Very little of my life was untouched by the church.
So, when I am stating that there is a staggering amount of abuse within, they are not wanting to know. They literally won't survive if the church falls.
The goodness of the church is a must.
They have built a life upon it and are going to die in peace because of it.
By reducing my family to a cancerous cell, they save themselves by saving the church.
These staunch defenders, and unbelievers that abuse lives among them, will be the death of the spirit of the church. Its insidious incest are rotting the core as they again sing praises towards heaven.
There is nothing I can say or do that will open their eyes. It will sadly, have to be personal.
What victims who were raised in this church know to be true, is that this unshakeable faith in the rightness of the church and its cleanliness is that our words about abuse will be doubted.
This doubting, will be what drives us away.
For that doubt about us, IS a confirmation that our abusers are not abusers.
It costs them nothing to condemn my father. It cost them everything IF this is pervasive as I believe it is.
What is so unique about incest and religious abuse, is that it happens; but just not in My Family.
They can see the sin of other; but not the sin that is in their own life, if you will.
Perhaps their wanting to see what isn't there, is easier to see, than what is.
When you are raised in abuse, how can you know abuse?
It is the norm and not rare and abnormal.
What was normal for me, was to not be connected to my body. I lived, as someone said, about six feet behind it.
My normal was to not have a voice or a choice.
My normal was to give control over to other.
My normal was to disown my body.
My normal was to not love me, enough for boundaries.
My normal was to not say no.
My normal was to put others first; always.
My normal was that I was not present in my life. I, by myself had no discerning thoughts.
I have finally become the rare and abnormal person in the church.
I am now completely one with my body and emotions, and have the freedom to move and I am no longer under the churches control. I am not a cancerous cell; but a healthy one.
Albeit scarred from 46 years I lived as a member of the First Apostolic Lutheran Church.
The church did with my body, mind and soul as it needed to for its agenda.
I made the church by giving up my free will.
I understand more than the Unbelievers and Defenders ever realize.
I know that in order to hear me, their whole self will begin to shake and crumble. For, they were raised like me - a composition of what a christian aught to be.
Do you know that I literally shook and had uncontrollable shakes when I first heard and knew that my father was a pedophile. My whole world was falling apart. My family fell first and then my religion.
The voice that will unravel your world most likely will not be me; but someone within your family. A voice of truth; that will set you free.
I used to see the church and family as a persona, separated from the individuals that made it. It had value unearned. Now family is what each member brings to it. We are only as strong as our weakest member.
You can place your value of the church on what you believe is not there; but what is there will be the final word.
"When the bird and book disagree, always believe the bird." James Audubon